As a professional photographer I have photographed people, events, products, and places, but until a few weeks ago I had not yet done any professional architectural work. Coincidentally, my name landed on T-Mobile’s desk as a referral, they contacted me, and we began to discuss how I could help them with their needs. T-Mobile needed expansive and eye-catching interior and exterior photographs from two of their flagship Los Angeles-area stores for their real estate/development ventures, and I was happy to help. And then they asked for my architectural portfolio. Gulp. They were acquainted with my personal fine art work, and I had the nerve to assume that this would be good enough to land me the job. Despite the lack of an architectural portfolio, I have a strong visual aesthetic and a love for great architectural photography, so there was no doubt in my mind that I could deliver what they needed. So when they asked for my architectural portfolio, I offered the unspeakable: they would only have to pay me if they were happy with the work I produced. They accepted, and in a long one-day shoot, I produced and delivered more than double the number of images they had requested. I hired my good friend, Rob, as my lighting expert and assistant, and we enjoyed a challenging and invigorating day at two of their stores. The T-Mobile team was very happy with my work, and I was paid in record time. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
The photographer’s moral to this story? Don’t undersell yourself. Deliver more than expected. Be creative with your negotiations. Don’t be afraid to hang yourself out there and take risks. Be amazing with your customer service. Be flawlessly professional.
Note: Only the left and center photographs are mine in the attached T-Mobile advertisement .
You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.